Show Less
Restricted access

Practicing Disability Studies in Education

Acting Toward Social Change


Edited By David J. Connor, Jan W. Valle and Chris Hale

Practicing Disability Studies in Education: Acting Toward Social Change celebrates the diversity of contemporary work being developed by a range of scholars working within the field of Disability Studies in Education (DSE). The central idea of this volume is to share ways in which educators practice DSE in creative and eclectic ways in order to rethink, reframe, and reshape the current educational response to disability. Largely confined to the limitations of traditional educational discourse, this collective (and growing) group continues to push limits, break molds, assert the need for plurality, explore possibilities, move into the unknown, take chances, strategize to destabilize, and co-create new visions for what can be, instead of settling for what is. Much like jazz musicians who rely upon one another on stage to create music collectively, these featured scholars have been – and continue to – riff with one another in creating the growing body of DSE literature. In sum, this volume is DSE «at work.»
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Introduction: A Brief Account of How Disability Studies in Education Evolved


| 1 →


A Brief Account of How Disability Studies in Education Evolved


It is not without irony that the interdisciplinary field of disability studies (DS) was allegedly a little slow to warm up to the field of disability studies in education (DSE). After all, many disabled scholars within DS report having experienced firsthand, more often than not, schooling practices that institutionalized and segregated, stigmatized and pathologized their sensory, physical, cognitive, and/or emotional differences. Moreover, the terms disability and education have long been monopolized by the field of special education whose foundational knowledge base is predicated upon scientific, medical, and psychological understandings of human difference. Thus, special education came to conceptualize disability as a deficit, something absent, suggesting an incomplete human who needs to be fixed, cured, remediated, and shaped into the mold of normalcy at all costs. As DS scholar Mike Oliver (1996) noted, there was a marked mistrust of research methodologies and related knowledge claims as they were deemed by people with disabilities to be “at best irrelevant, and at worst, oppressive” (p. 129).

In contrast, DS, an academic discipline that grew out of grassroots, rights-based politics in the 1970s, focused upon the ways historical, social, cultural, political, and economic framings of disability simultaneously came into play with other discourses of disability (including those previously mentioned that undergird special education)—impacting the degree of access that...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.